Two famous old white-flowered roses are blooming this week: 'Lamarque' and 'Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria'.
Let's take 'Lamarque' first. This is one of the so-called tea-noisettes from the early nineteenth century. It was raised before the craze for high-centered roses developed.
The flowers are heavy and nod; they have a distinct fragrance which has a citrusy quality. There is no use asking for a dozen long-stemmed 'Lamarque' roses: cut blooms are suitable for low bowls or for floating in water. Or, for really grand effects, entire branches in bloom can be cut.
I've heard of thriving plants in the Fredericksburg, Virginia area, but Philadelphia-area gardeners during the twentieth century struggled with it. Given the milder winters we are experiencing now, there's a chance it might establish itself here. My guess is that near a sheltered wall it would be a sure thing. And a thing well worth having!